More than one year has passed since 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed while holding a toy gun, and prosecutors have yet to decide whether to charge the officer responsible. But on Thursday afternoon, the day after enhanced stills of the shooting were unveiled, the Cleveland Police Department released Officer Timothy Loehmann’s account of the fatal shooting.
According to Loehmann’s official police statement, the officer saw Rice “pick up an object and stick it down into his waistband.” When Loehmann and his partner Frank Garback drove up to the boy, Rice turned in their direction.
“The suspect had a gun, had been threatening others with the weapon and had not obeyed our command to show his hands,” Loehmann wrote. “He was facing us. This was an active shooter situation.” Loehmann alleges that both officers yelled for the boy to show his hands, but Rice did not comply. He claims he shot his firearm twice when he saw Rice pull out a gun from his waistband.
He also said that Rice “appeared to be over 18 years old and about 185 pounds.”
But an internal investigation found no proof that Loehmann yelled for Rice to show his hands before he deployed his weapon. It did confirm that Rice was shot two seconds after Loehmann exited his vehicle, which would have left little time to warn Rice.
Both officers refused to cooperate with the investigation. Prosecutors have released two independent reports that called the use of force reasonable. However, the Rice family lawyers released reports from additional law enforcement officials who say Loehmann’s actions were “reckless” and “excessive.”
The two officers were subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury but submitted signed statements rather than appear in court.